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American Express Disclosure
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Is The Platinum Card® from American Express Worth the Yearly Fee?

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While The Platinum Card® from American Express’s annual fee of $695 seems like a lot, you could receive more than $4,000 in value during the first year thanks to the card’s generous welcome offer, ongoing rewards and statement credits. That’s approximately $3,440 of savings after subtracting the annual fee.

The following estimated values can help determine whether it’s worth adding this popular travel card to your wallet. As you can see, this card could easily be worth the annual fee if you’re able to maximize the credits and rewards.

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We estimate more than $4,000 in value in the first year*:

  • Welcome offer: $1,600
  • Travel and shopping statement credits: $1,609
  • Global airport lounges: $469
  • Estimated rewards earned on spending: $460

*Learn more about our value methodology.

*To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

8 reasons The Platinum Card® from American Express could be worth it

Not sure you want to shell out $695 each year for The Platinum Card® from American Express? Here is a breakdown of eight ways to cover the high annual fee, plus how to earn extra money from it.

Generous welcome offer


Estimated one-time value: $1,600

When it comes to travel cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the most lucrative welcome offers out there. You can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

This welcome offer has an estimated value of $800 if you use points to book flights through American Express Travel. However, you can double this value to around 2 cents per point by transferring points to travel partners — though the exact redemption will depend on where and when you redeem your points.

Access to various airport lounges


Estimated annual value: $469

While many leading travel cards offer a complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, The Platinum Card® from American Express takes this benefit to the next level — thanks to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Along with Priority Pass access (enrollment required), The Platinum Card® from American Express unlocks access to more than 1,400 airport lounges in over 140 countries, including:

  • Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Delta SkyClubs
  • Escape lounges
  • Air Space lounges
  • Plaza Premium lounges
  • International American Express lounges

Travel and shopping statement credits


Total estimated annual value: $1,609

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers valuable statement credits, which can help justify the card’s hefty annual fee. If you max out these credits, you could potentially earn up to $1,609 in value each year — more than double the card’s annual fee.

However, some of these benefits require enrollment or come with specific limitations. Read on to estimate how much value you could earn from each category to help determine if this card is right for you.

Airline fee credit


Estimated annual value: Up to $200

To earn this credit, you’ll need to select one qualifying airline at the beginning of the calendar year (not your account anniversary). You can then earn up to $200 in statement credits if you use the card to purchase incidentals like checked bags, seat assignments, in-flight refreshments and airport lounge passes for that specific airline.


Note that you can’t earn this statement credit by purchasing airline tickets, upgrades, gift cards, award tickets or mileage points purchases.

Uber Cash


Estimated annual value: Up to $200

Cardmembers automatically receive $15 in Uber Cash every month, plus a $20 bonus in December once you add your card to the Uber app. You can use your Uber Cash toward eligible U.S. Uber Eats orders and U.S. Uber rides. However, this benefit is “use it or lose it” — unused credit can’t be rolled over to the following month.

You can also register for complimentary Uber VIP status to get matched with top-notch drivers and higher-quality cars, although this benefit isn’t available in all locations.

Saks Fifth Avenue credit


Estimated annual value: Up to $100

If you enjoy shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, this perk could help make the card’s fee a little more bearable. After enrolling your card for this benefit, you can earn two statement credits per year — each up to $50. That’s a potential value of $100 per calendar year.

You can earn the first credit of up to $50 if you use your card to make Saks purchases between Jan. 1 and June 30, with the second credit available for purchases between July 1 and Dec. 31. There’s no minimum purchase required to earn this benefit.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit


Estimated annual value: $25

Frequent travelers seeking a quicker travel experience can take advantage of the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credits. After using your card to pay the $100 Global Entry fee or $85 PreCheck fee, you’ll receive an automatic statement refund of up to $100.

Note that you can only receive this credit every time you renew your memberships: every four years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck. Because of this, the estimated value is $25 per year.

Hotel credit


Estimated annual value: $200

You can redeem up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year by using your card to purchase prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel.

Note that booking through The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.

Clear Plus membership credit


Estimated annual value: $189

If you want to reduce stress and save time at the airport, a Clear Plus Membership could be another great card perk. With Clear Plus, you can use biometric kiosks to skip verifying your identity with a TSA agent. However, you’ll have to enroll to receive the annual statement credit of up to $189, which covers a one-year Clear Plus membership.

Digital entertainment credit


Estimated annual value: Up to $240

You can maximize your card savings by enrolling in the digital entertainment benefit. Use your card to pay for some or all of the following services and earn up to $20 in statement credits each month:

  • Disney+
  • ESPN+
  • Hulu
  • The New York Times
  • Peacock
  • The Wall Street Journal

Remember, you’ll need to enroll to activate this benefit. Once you do, the credits will be applied automatically to your account.

Walmart+ credit


Estimated annual value: Up to $155

Thanks to The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can now enjoy the benefits of a Walmart+ membership. After enrolling in the program, you can receive $12.95 plus applicable taxes to cover the monthly cost of a Walmart+ membership. Note that the membership needs to be set to auto-renew, although you can cancel at any time.

Equinox credit


Estimated annual value: Up to $300

For those looking to improve or maintain their fitness, you can earn up to $300 in statement credits each year for eligible Equinox memberships or the Equinox+ fitness app after you enroll. As an Equinox member, you can access unlimited classes, personalized pilates, expert personal training and state-of-the-art club locations.

The subscription fee for the app costs nearly $40 per month, making it easy to stay on track with your fitness goals while trapezing around the globe.

Multiple ways to earn rewards

Frequent flyers looking to maximize their travel rewards could potentially earn more with The Platinum Card® from American Express versus other travel cards like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.

Although The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t provide elevated rewards on daily categories like shopping or dining, the value you can earn from the heightened travel rewards could make the card’s annual fee worth the cost.

Flexible redemption options

While you have multiple ways to redeem your American Express Membership Rewards, you typically get the highest redemption value when booking travel via American Express Travel or transferring points to a partner program. Depending on when and where you transfer points, they could be worth around 2 cents each or more.

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American Express Travel partners

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Aeroplan (AirCanada)
  • AIR FRANCE KLM
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Other Amex redemption options include claiming statement credits, using points at checkout in certain stores, selecting gift cards and more. Just note that the value for these other redemption options will vary.

Hotel elite status

Another perk of The Platinum Card® from American Express is qualifying for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. Once enrolled in this benefit, you can receive free upgrades to enhanced rooms at check-in (when available).

This card also lets you take advantage of the Hilton Honors Gold status. After enrollment, you can earn space-available room upgrades, daily food and beverage credits, continental breakfasts and more.

Extensive travel insurance and purchase protections

Cardholders can travel with extra peace of mind knowing the card’s travel insurance will likely cover unexpected delays, lost luggage and more. If you use the card to book travel, coverage types and limits include:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: The maximum benefit is $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period.*
  • Trip delay insurance: Up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than six hours; two claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period.
  • Baggage insurance: Up to $2,000 for checked baggage (subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per trip)*1
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Provides coverage of up to $75,000 vehicle damage or theft; coverage is secondary and does not include liability*2
  • Purchase protection: Up to $10,000 per occurrence (capped at $50,000 per calendar year)*3

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Cellphone protection with the card


If you use your card to pay your monthly cellphone bill, you could receive up to $800 if your phone is stolen or damaged. This benefit is subject to a $50 deductible, and you can only submit two claims per 12-month period. No enrollment is required.4

Amex offers

Along with the standard benefits and rewards outlined above, you can save even more by taking advantage of Amex Offers. These are limited-time deals to earn extra points or cash back. Note that promotions change regularly.

Here are a few recent examples of Amex Offers:

  • fitbit: Get 10% back when you spend $79 or more (max reward of $100)
  • Sprinkles: Get $15 back when you spend $75 or more (can redeem five times for a max reward of $75)
  • NFL Shop: Get $20 back when you spend $100 (can redeem two times for a max reward of $40)

You can view the most current list of Amex Offers by logging into your account — just make sure to make the purchases with your card to receive the bonus.

4 reasons the The Platinum Card® from American Express might not be worth it

High annual fee

There’s no denying that the card’s annual fee of $695 can hurt, even with its generous welcome offer and accelerated travel rewards. It’s worth crunching the numbers in advance to ensure that you can take advantage of enough benefits to make the hefty price tag worth the effort.

For example, if you take advantage of the full airline credit*, Uber Cash*, hotel credit and Clear Plus membership credit*, you’ll earn around $789 — which more than cover the card’s annual fee.

However, if you don’t plan on utilizing many benefits, a lower-cost travel card might be a better fit for your needs.

*Enrollment required.

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How to get the card's annual fee waived


If you love The Platinum Card® from American Express and all it has to offer, but can’t handle the card’s exorbitant yearly fee, you have two options to have it waived:

  • Active duty military service: Military members on active duty, plus their spouses, can have all annual fees waived on any personal American Express card.
  • Morgan Stanley card members: Morgan Stanley clients with an eligible brokerage account can get their first card with no annual fee.

Not all perks are easy to use

While The Platinum Card® from American Express benefits are some of the best out there, some come with strict rules and limitations. For example, you’ll need to commit to a single airline for an entire year to earn the $200 airline credit, plus the credit only applies to incidental charges. In comparison, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a $300 annual travel credit, which you can earn from purchasing travel purchases like plane, bus or train tickets.

Furthermore, the $200 hotel credit is restricted to prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel. In addition, you have to commit to a two-night stay with The Hotel Collection — which could rack up charges that surpass the card’s annual fee.

Low reward rate on nontravel purchases

While The Platinum Card® from American Express earns stellar rewards on travel purchases, it doesn’t include everyday categories like groceries, dining or streaming services. If you anticipate booking airline tickets or prepaid hotels via American Express Travel, then going ahead with the card makes sense.

However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be a better fit if you want to maximize a broader range of reward categories. With theChase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

Limited international use

While many U.S. merchants accept American Express, it has limited use while traveling abroad. If you travel internationally, you might want to take a Visa or Mastercard, as they’re more commonly accepted. Check out our list of the best credit cards for international travel.

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Is the card worth it?


Deciding whether the card’s annual fee is worth it can be a tough call. Ultimately, it depends on how often you travel, what types of benefits you want and whether you can earn enough credits to justify the card’s $695 annual fee.

  • If you’re a serious traveler looking for high-end benefits, then yes, this card’s fee is worth it. With access to more than 1,400 lounges across the globe and extra perks like elite hotel status, you can rest assured that your reward potential will cover the card’s annual fee — plus give you extra money back.
  • If you’re an occasional traveler who wants more simple redemption options, then you might like to consider another travel card. Remember, besides transferring points to partner airlines, the card earns poor value for other redemption options (often less than 1 cent per point). If you aim to cash points in for gift cards and statement credits, you might be better off exploring a general rewards credit card instead.

Alternatives to the The Platinum Card® from American Express

Compare the The Platinum Card® from American Express to similar travel reward cards.

CardEarning rateWelcome offerAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchasesEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.$550
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One TravelEarn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel$395**
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardEarn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.$650

***To see rates & fees for Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.
* Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
  1. Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Covered Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip.
  2. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply.
  3. Purchase Protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Coverage Limits Apply.
  4. Coverage for a Stolen or damaged Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per Eligible Card Account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per Eligible Card Account per 12 month period.